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“Whatever the community asks of us, we will do our best to make it happen,” says Jerome Loving, Commander of the American Legion post 515 of Coffee County. Douglas is home to two American Legion posts, one of which is post 515. On Saturday April 22, 2023, Jerome Loving along with other members of the post held a 75th anniversary event to recognize all of the hard work and dedication American Legion Post 515 has poured into our community throughout the years.
According to Jerome, the American Legion was established on September 16, 1919. It was founded on four pillars: veterans affairs, Americanism, children and youth, and national security. This organization is the largest wartime veterans service and dedicates its time and effort to help local communities, fellow servicemen, and veterans. This organization is now made up of nearly 2 million total members and over 12,000 posts in communities across the nation.
American Legion Post 515 of Coffee County was established on May 7, 1948. Since then, Post 515 has made great efforts in its local community by assisting veterans’ funerals, helping with the Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Coffee County, Wreaths Across America, and the list goes on. Jerome Loving states he is “proud to do it because it gives me an opportunity to give back.”
The 75th anniversary event for post 515 was held at the Central Square Gym with several special guests and local community members in attendance. These special guests included the National Executive Committeeman and Alternate Executive Committeeman for Georgia, Executive Committeewoman for Georgia, the American Legion Department of Georgia Commander, the Detachment of Georgia, Sons of the American Legion Jr. Vice Commander, the Detachment of Georgia, American Legion Riders Assistant Director, the District 12 Commander and District 12 Post, and others. Several attendees listed gave speeches to educate the public on the American Legion and show appreciation to Post 515 for their helping hand in the community.
Jerome Loving has been associated with Post 515 for 16 years and has been its Commander for five non-consecutive years. When asked what he enjoys about the works of Post 515, he states, “It’s something that is needed and important to make a difference.” For example, the American Legion and their part in Wreaths Across America, a program for placing wreaths on veterans graves once a year, plays a big role in serving our veterans and their families each year. Jerome states they are in constant need of sponsors and donations for this event.
The American Legion Post 515 will hold their annual Memorial Day service on May 27, 2023 at the Coffee County courthouse in front of the Veterans Memorial.